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Important information for every woman, whether you have given birth by cesarean or vaginally, whether you have had no children of many. Hysterectomy is the most common non-obstetrical procedure for women in our country. Approximately 600,000 are performed each year in the U.S. 1 in 9 women will have one. It’s time for us to focus on our pelvic floor health.

August ICAN of Knoxville Meeting — Pelvic Floor Health

Please join us to hear our guest speaker, Autumn Synowiez, OT, speak to us about our pelvic floor health. Whether you are planning to get pregnant, are pregnant, or have birthed your babies in the past — we can all benefit from good pelvic floor health. Those with diastasis recti, perineal repairs, and cesareans will especially benefit from this information.

Meetings are FREE, however we gratefully accept donations for our local 501c Non Profit Chapter. (suggested donation $1-$3)

Partners and children are welcome for most of our meetings. We respectfully ask that if your child is needing a quiet moment that you step out if needed.

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Avoiding Traumatic Birth

We’re hearing a lot about traumatic birth lately. It’s always been around, but more women kept quiet about it or maybe didn’t realize there was any other way to give birth. With the explosion of the internet and social networking, women are discovering they had unnecessary, potentially or actually harmful, and often traumatic interventions and events on one of the most important days of their life — birthing their child.

Know your options!

Did you know that in the Knoxville, TN, area you have genuine options to help avoid a traumatic birth? Some are:

  • Natural Childbirth Classes (not hospital sponsored ones, but true learning experiences, such as Bradley or Hypnobirthing)
  • Doulas. Antepartum, birth, and postpartum doulas are available — and our numbers are increasing to give you options
  • Home Birth Midwifery
  • Free-standing Birth Centers
  • ICAN of Knoxville (International Cesarean Awareness Network) local meetings for support, education, and information
  • Knoxville Birth Network meetings, a division of Birth Network), also for information and support
  • Chiropractors and massage therapists (along with other professionals) trained to optimize pregnancy and birth

These are a few of the options available to help you avoid a traumatic birth in the first place, or recover and heal from a previous one or ones.

The question is: Are you taking advantage of these resources?

Every week, I get numerous emails or phone calls from women who say, “If I’d known inducing for non-medical reasons would have led to a cesarean section”, or “I thought about taking a class but didn’t find the time”, or “I thought about using a doula but we didn’t”, or “My doctor said I couldn’t VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean), so I just scheduled another surgery” or “My doctor said my pelvis was too small/baby too big/ why even try labor”… and on and on.

The emails make me sad for many reasons. They make me sad a woman didn’t get the birth experience she wanted and deserved, but they also make me sad that the useful and wonderful resources available are not being utilized. This is not to say it is a woman’s fault if she is suffering from birth trauma–not all births will go the way we desire them even after making the most concerted efforts. However, if you’re on the fence about seriously exploring your options, your chances of ending up unhappy with your birth experience are going to be far greater.

Interview some midwives, interview some doulas, take childbirth classes. In the U.S., women regrettably educate themselves more about buying a car, or a purse, or finding a good daycare than they educate themselves about the birth of their baby. Interview different OB/GYN’s and hospitals, even. Don’t take your neighbor’s or sister-in-law’s recommendation just because they “liked” their OB/GYN or because he or she was “nice”. Ask questions. What is their cesarean rate? What is nursery and newborn policy? I cannot list here all the interview questions to ask different birth professionals, so research what you desire and make sure your birth team is in line with your desires.

If you have not yet seen some eye-opening films, take the time to do so. The Business of Being Born, Gentle Birth Choices, Pregnant in America are all good starting points. Have your significant other read, “The Birth Partner” by Penny Simkin, a book I advise all of my clients to read. Look into different information about doulas, which can easily be found on well-known and reputable sites such as DONA, CAPPA, and The American Pregnancy Association. Attend one of the often free meetings held by birth organizations.

We’re here to help you have the best birth experience possible.. please take advantage of what’s offered and make the time, make the investment so you don’t later send an email saying, “if only…”. Perhaps there will still be something you didn’t like or that was traumatic during your birth experience, but you will have the satisfaction and empowerment of knowing your options and having done your research. No one can tell you what is the best scenario for you, your baby, and your family. Invest in knowledge.

Resources:

www.pennysimkin.com
www.knoxvillehomebirthservices.com
www.cappa.net
www.ican-online.org
www.dona.org
www.birthnetwork.org
http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=170751447099
www.doulamatch.net
www.thebusinessofbeingborn.com
www.waterbirth.org
www.icpa4kids.com
www.knoxvilledoula.com
www.bradleybirth.com
http://www.americanpregnancy.org/labornbirth/havingadoula.html

All Rights Reserved, 2011, Kimberly Sebeck, CLD, CCCE, Knoxville Doula

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Upcoming News!

There are lots of great events coming up for your pregnant mamas and families!

February 23rd, 2011, I have been asked to be part of an expert panel for Parenting Daily Times.. more details to follow as I receive them.

ICAN of Knoxville’s March meeting is going to be a fun and enjoyable night of sharing at Birth Story Night. Come prepared to hear a wide variety of birth stories, and feel free to share your own. We want to hear your experience.. whether it be an unmedicated birth, a hospital birth, home birth, surgical, epidural..and anything else you care to share. The atmosphere will be one of positivity and no need to worry about criticism. Date: March 2, 2011 at Earth Fare, Turkey Creek location, beginning at 6 pm, lasting usually one hour. Cost is free, however, donations are accepted on behalf of the 501c non-profit. www.ican-online.org

Knoxville Birth Network has graciously invited me to speak about VBAC and Avoiding C-Section on Tuesday, March 8th from 7pm to 8:30 pm at the Blount County Public Library, 508 N. Cusick St., Maryville, TN. Cost is free. I have a special treat of having received brochures ordered from the National Institutes of Health Consensus Development on vaginal birth after cesarean. Come with any questions you may have.

In April, ICAN of Knoxville will be hearing about different childbirth education options in Knoxville. Special speakers Danielle Hartley, who teaches Bradley Method prepared childbirth classes, as well as Marva Solt, who teaches Hypnobirthing will give us a brief overview of the methods and classes they teach. Date: April 6, 2011 at Earth Fare, Turkey Creek location, 6-7 pm. Cost is free, however, donations are accepted on behalf of the 501c non-profit.

ICAN of Knoxville is looking for volunteers. It is an all volunteer organization and volunteering covers many areas, from bringing snacks or making a few copies to taking on a larger task of being treasurer or secretary, helping to maintain a lending library, fund-raising and more. Ask me how you can help! One appeal we have currently is to expand our lending library, so if you have books, DVD’s, or other material pertaining to pregnancy, childbirth, or postpartum and would like to donate, we would love to have a donation and be happy to give you a receipt for tax deductions.

Duck, Duck, Goose’s large consignment event will be held April 14-18, 2011 and I will be there at a booth! I hope to see you there!

As always, please let me know if you are in need of any childbirth classes or doula consultations.

All Rights Reserved2011, Kimberly Sebeck, CLD, CCCE, Knoxville Doula

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Breastfeeding and Teen Moms

Earlier today, I received an email asking for some assistance for a local unwed teen mother. The first thing I noticed about the post was that the mother was needing bottles, formula, and coupons for formula.  This saddened me. Not only is breast milk the BEST food for a baby, it will help the teenage mother ward off ailments, unwanted weight, and assist with bonding–among many other good consequences.  Additionally, if a teen mother is already feeling the heavy weight of monetarily caring for a newborn, infant, and beyond, breastfeeding the baby for even a few months will result in significant savings.

A common misconception is that government aid programs, such as WIC, will only help pay for formula. This is not true. WIC now factors in the benefits of breastfeeding and compensates with additional vouchers for healthy, fresh food for the mom to nourish her baby with breast milk.

I answered the email with an offer to visit the expectant mother and donate to her a breastfeeding class, assist with breastfeeding, or at least talk to her about the benefits of breastfeeding.  I do hope she will consider the offer.

As a result, I began thinking, “What if every teen mother had the opportunity to have a lactation consultant, breastfeeding counselor, or doula, midwife, experienced breastfeeding mother discuss with her the benefits of breastfeeding and offer support?” What kind of savings would we see with mother and child at healthy weights, passing on antibodies and immunity, foregoing formula and bottle costs, less illness, deeper bonding, etc.?

Therefore, as my schedule allows, I will now be offering free help and support for any local teenage mothers expecting a baby. I am not a certified International Lactation Consultant, but I am a breastfeeding counselor, a doula, and childbirth educator with a decade of experience.  I can be contacted by emailing: beautifulbirths2003@yahoo.com. If anyone would also like to help with this project, please contact me and we can network a way to really make a difference in our community.

Babies deserve breast milk. Teenage mothers deserve support.

Links:

www.kellymom.com

www.breastfeeding.com

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Pregnant? Thinking about a Doula or Childbirth Class?

I know no less than 20 pregnant women who are due in November and December of this year — each week I receive several inquiries as to using my labor/birth or postpartum doula services, as well as taking  prepared childbirth classes from me.  If you fall into the category of expecting a baby sometime this year and are considering hiring a doula, taking a class, having a breastfeeding consultation, or any of the other parenting services I offer, please contact me for a free consultation.

I commit to only 2-3 childbirth doula clients a month, in order to provide the best care and service.  Once I am booked for the month, I am full.

My consultation is free, we can meet at your home or mine, or a local public area, such as a coffee/sandwich shop.  If you are not sure of the benefits of having a doula, this is a great time to learn and ask questions, as well as start becoming familiar with one another. I can give you a schedule of upcoming classes, or schedule a private class for you and your partner. If you are a first time parent, or new to the area, I can provide you with many local resources, such as a birth setting that fits your desire, newborn photographers, cloth diapering shops, and more.

I serve the greater Knoxville area, and under certain circumstances, travel as far as Chattanooga, Johnson City, and other outlying areas.

Ten years of experience and helping hundreds of families has made me love what I do even more! Let’s talk!

You can reach me at beautifulbirths2003@yahoo.com or (865) 705-7734.